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Broken-Down Squatter Come, Stumpy old man, we must shift while we can All your mates in the paddock are dead Let us wave our farewells to Glen Eva's sweet dells And the hills where your lordship was bred Together to roam from our drought-stricken home It's tough that such things have to be And it's hard on a horse to have nought for a boss But a broken-down squatter like me cho: For the banks are all broken they say And the merchants are all up a tree When the big-wigs are brought To the Bankruptcy Court What hope for a squatter like me No more shall we muster the river for fats Or spiel on the Fifteen Mile Plain Or rip through the scrub by the light of the moon Or see the old stockyard again Leave the slip-panels down, it won't matter much now There are none but the crows left to see Perching gaunt on yon pine, as though longing to dine On a broken-down squatter like me When the country was cursed with the drought at its worst And the cattle were dying in scores Though down on my luck, I kept up my pluck Thinking justice might temper the laws But the farce has been played, and the Government aid Ain't extended to squatters, old son When my money was spent, they doubled the rent And resumed the best half of the run 'Twas done without reason, for (leaving the season) No squatter could stand such a rub For it's useless to squat when the rents are so hot That you can't save the price of your grub And there's not much to choose 'twixt the banks and the screws Once a fellow gets put up a tree No odds what I feel, there's no Court of Appeal For a broken-down squatter like me --------------------------------------------------------------------------- First published in the Queenslander in 1894 Written by Charles Augustus Flower. The brothers Horace and Charles Flower, Queensland station owners, were keen songwriters in the 1880's - 90's. Charles Flower's manuscripts are in the Oxley Library, Brisbane. In 1891 the squatters were at war with the shearers in the Shearers' Strike. In 1893 the banks crashed. This tune is from Jack 'Hoopiron' Lee who was 77 and had been blind for a number of years when he was recorded by John Meredith in 1953. MG apr97
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